Honda Pilot Brake Problems

tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
Discuss them here!

tidester, host
SUVs and Smart Shopper


  • scarlett6scarlett6 Member Posts: 1
    Is anyone else experiencing problems with braking and their Pilots? My daughter's 2005 Pilot has started sudden and violent braking on its own, a very unnerving and dangerous experience.

    I have seen this problem reported on some other complaint sites, but Honda denies there is any problem.

  • emilynemilyn Member Posts: 1
    Hi Cathie,

    Mid-summer I experienced the same thing driving with my two children. My husband didn't think there was anything wrong until recently he was driving and it happened to him as well. Have you found any further information regarding this braking problem. If I find anything out I will be in contact.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    I think it is due to faulty VSC that brakes on its own.
  • jp1123jp1123 Member Posts: 1

    I have experiences the same problem twice over the past few months and can not seem to find a good answer on what is causing this. It's almost as if I were slamming on the brakes or the car is braking on its own. Have you received any good insight on this?

  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    Nowadays cars are having lots of things are in computer controlled. When the computer goes crazy or hang or software failure, imagine what happens to your car's handling.

    haven't you experienced your home computer freeze?
  • dulesdules Member Posts: 37

    I saw this on Car Talk's forum, the person there did get some resolution from Honda, they admitted to the problem, fixed it and gave them a loaner until the car was fixed.

    I am curious to know what you all are being told by dealers/mechanics and if there's any good, prescribed fix.

    We *just* bought a 2005 EX this weekend, with 74K miles, one owner, well serviced and Honda certified. I would never have bought if I had found these problems before - good grief. Hoping we don't have this problem but wondering exactly what to tell the dealer to look for if we do. :(

    Good luck to all,
  • donkindonkin Member Posts: 2
    I just joined this forum and I have noticed a lot of."honda tells me nothing is wrong", etc. Well in my experience, honda can never get right. I had 4 problems with my 06 PILOT which was in the shop a total of 9 times and honda never fixed a thing. Well with 2 months left on warranty, I contacted an attorney and he wrote a letter stating what legal action, lemon law, etc., we would take if car not fixed this trip. Copy of letter to honda Hdqtrs, and state attorney general. Guess what happened, keep in mind auto was a 2006, low and behold, the cheif mehanic found 4 service bulletins dated april - june, 06 which described my problems perfectly. Four weeks letter, all fixed and car ran better than new. Try it, you might get satisfaction.
  • denver5357denver5357 Member Posts: 319
    That sounds like more of a problem with the place you were taking your car than with Honda. Even dealers are not "Honda."
  • donkindonkin Member Posts: 2
    You got that one correct. However dealer is one of if not the best rated in the area.
  • bethstl74bethstl74 Member Posts: 1
    I just saw your post about the problems with your 06 Pilot and I was wondering what those problems were. I'm thinking of buying a used 06 Pilot and was curious if these problems were already "addressed" or if this is something I may have to deal with. Any information you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • billyk5000billyk5000 Member Posts: 2
    I have my car in the shop, 68K miles, I need new brake pads but they are telling me I need new rotors as well (front). My brother has an Odyssey and he says he has never had to replace his rotors, and his van has 125K on it. I realize driving styles may impace wear and tear. How can I make sure I do in fact need them? I have heard so many different stories. What questions should I ask? Thanks!
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    Are the rotors warped?

    If so, why can't they be turned?

    What is the thickness of the rotor?

    What is the minimun thickness specification?
  • billyk5000billyk5000 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply.

    They said it exceeded the minimum thickness specifications? Yeah sure sounds good, except I have no idea what that specficiation is. :)
  • esemesem Member Posts: 11
    Have you taken it to a different shop to get another opinion?

    Minimum thickness reasoning is good to get it changed but how do you know they are telling you the right measurements?
  • lawman1077lawman1077 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Honda Pilot with about 95,000 miles. I started hearing a grinding noise from the left front brake when braking. I replaced the front brake pads and rotors with Honda parts. After the brakes gets hot I hear it again. I replaced the front pads again thinking maybe I got bad pads. The noise is still there. Any ideas?

  • lg2207lg2207 Member Posts: 28
    Hi There-
    I have an '08 Pilot EX 4WD with 26K. Purchased used in December. Car runs great. The only problem(s) I have noticed- is the brakes tend to make alot of noise (not squeak/squeal)- but more of a clunk/creak when pressed- I hear it more when I shift from Reverse to Drive and letting the foot off- you can hear it somewhat when applying in normal drive conditions. Have not taken it to the dealer- but the local shop we use inspects and test drives every time I bring it in for service and they indicate brakes are fine.

    I did notice back in January the first time I took it for wash- that the entire brake (?suspension) system seem to creak/groan and generally were quite grabby after pulling out of the car wash. My assumption is the brakes are still quite wet after the wash- seems to be a regular pattern with the car wash- again not sure its related.

    Any thoughts?
  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8
    Same thing here. About two months ago my wife and son were nearly rear ended on a busy highway because her 2005 Honda Pilot came to an abrupt stop.

    I had it checked out and the computer showed two brake system malfunctions but, no repair was recommended or done due to everything being okay now.

    Honda America refuses to do anything since the local dealer doesn't recommend anything be done.

    I contacted a local tv station's trouble shooter who made a call to the dealership and they immediately called back and were very interested in my problem but have yet to call with any solution. I will try to keep you posted.

    You are the first other I have found with the same problem.


  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8
    I have had my computer freeze many times but, never did it almost get me killed.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    mine too... AND never did it try to kill others!
  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8

    I would like to know if you ever got any kind of action out of Honda on the braking problem and what the conclusion was as to what caused it. If it was fixed did they charge you? Mine is out of warranty so the cost will be of concern to me.

    If you never got any kind of satisfactory response from Honda, maybe we all can by keeping in contact and sharing info with each other. Right now I am waiting on a response from a complaint I filed with the NHTSA and am in contact with the Federal Trade Commission.


  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8

    I would like to know if you ever got any kind of action out of Honda on the braking problem and what the conclusion was as to what caused it. If it was fixed did they charge you? Mine is out of warranty so the cost will be of concern to me.

    If you never got any kind of satisfactory response from Honda, maybe we all can by keeping in contact and sharing info with each other. Right now I am waiting on a response from a complaint I filed with the NHTSA and am in contact with the Federal Trade Commission.


  • carfanscarfans Member Posts: 4
    I bought a brand new 2010 pilot EX on 3/13/2010 and the brake suddenly failed within 10MPH after a month. when my wife try to make it full stop at neighbor's house, the brake was very soft and the panel was pushed to the end. the car still kept moving forward. it hit a parked car in front and could not stop. finally it had been stopped by a neighbor's deck. we contacted the Honda dealer. they could not find the problem and did not do any repair work. we file complaint. it is only 490 miles.
    does anyone has the similar experience?
  • nygenenygene Member Posts: 11
    Did anyone answer this? I have been negotiating a 2011 Lease for Pilot EXL...not quite done...but in my research I am seeing that the braking distance is not rated well, by Edmunds and some others...much worse than the CRV, or the Acrura RDX I am looking at...

    Is this related to your issue...does anyone else have info on this?

  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Of those who have had the problem with their Pilot braking sudenly without pushing the pedal, have you had repairs and if so did they work?

    Honda is saying that (based on their inspection at my house) the ABS/VCS/TZS modulator and the brake switch should be replaced on my Pilot and in doing so the repair should correct my concerns with the vehicle. Anyone have any or all of these repairs done and if so, did it work?

    If anyone has had the sudden braking again after "repair", please please post. I do not want to get into this vehicle with my family ever again if this repair doesn't work.
  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8
    My wife had this problem in Oct. 2010 and the vehicle has been driven almost not at all (mostly to the Honda dealership where is sat for a month or more). It has sat in our drive way the rest of the time until last week when I had no choice but drive it due to another car problem.

    The dealership (Hennesey Honda in Woodstock Ga.) had the Honda America (?) rep check it out and they were both on the phone with me (speaker phone) and basically said there was nothing that they could do since they could not duplicate the problem. I guess they are waiting on me to duplicate it on the interstate or in an intersection.

    They did recommend to change brake fluid, front /rear pads rotor resurface, change spark plugs and 90k mile check up and a timing belt package for $1869.95 plus tax. They said that the wouldn't even say that this was likely to fix the problem. The last thing that Hennesey said is that they were going to give us a good deal on a used car but, they only have 60 right now and there was nothing that would work for us but they are looking.
  • carfanscarfans Member Posts: 4
    what year of your pilot? my pilot is 2010 EX model and it has brake problem when it is brand new. Honda could not explain why and they refused to do anything.
  • carfanscarfans Member Posts: 4
    This is different issue. Pilot has longer braking distance than average I knew that before puchase. but my pilot problem is the brake function failed to cause that accident. but after 20 minutes the brake is back.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    My Pilot was a 2005 which I purchased used in 2009. I haven't had it for 2 years and am seeing a lot of reports about the same problem everywhere and Honda puts you off for quite some time.
  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8
    My Pilot is a 2005. I have not heard of the "stopping on it's own without the driver applying the brakes" on any other model other than the 2005.
  • main7main7 Member Posts: 8
    Yes, they do put you off, it's been since October of 2010 and they have checked it out but done nothing. Honda America denies knowing anything about it although it has been reported to them numerous times. I guess someone has to be seriously injured or worse before it gets their attention.
  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29
    Of those who have had the problem with their Pilot braking sudenly without pushing the pedal, have you had repairs and if so did they work?

    Honda is saying that (based on their inspection at my house) the ABS/VCS/TZS modulator and the brake switch should be replaced on my Pilot and in doing so the repair should correct my concerns with the vehicle. Anyone have any or all of these repairs done and if so, did it work?

    If anyone has had the sudden braking again after "repair", please please post.
  • macrovmacrov Member Posts: 1
    Last winter I found that when trying to break on icy roads, the brakes made a grinding sound and the car fishtails a little and skids; I had to be very careful not to lose control. This happened even if was not braking very suddenly or from a high speed. But this doesn't happen at all if I'm driving on a dry road; it stops just fine.

    More recently, my wife had an unexpected near failure when she had to brake fairly suddenly at a crosswalk, but when I have tried to replicate it, I had no problem at all. So I'm wondering if this is a problem of electronics, and not, say, brake pads.
  • bjaderbjader Member Posts: 10
    Grinding sounds usually occur when your brake pads are already worn out. It is something that it is already metal to metal. The other thing is you got already a defective brake rotor. The other reason is if you intalled a low quality brake pad. I can recommend to replace it with good quality brake pad. If you got ABS possibly your ABS is not properly working.Somethimes your senson installed in each wheel are already dirty or sometimes the connection is already dirty. One solution is unplug the connection and clean it with spray electronics cleaner and clean all the sensors. I hope this will help
  • mwk1mwk1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2010 Honda Pilot EX with 20,000 miles. I noticed that the steering wheel would vibrate when applying the brakes at a speed of 50 miles per hour or more. According to the local Honda dealer, the rotors are warped and they recommended that I replace the rotors. Wondering if anyone else has had this problem - find it hard to believe that the rotors need to be replaced with such low mileage.
  • piloteeeerpiloteeeer Member Posts: 1
    We've reported our break problem to our Honda dealer, along with their mechanics, but we still not have gotten any fix on this issue.

    Only when we drive up a hill (well-inclined), and before you reach the top of the hill- therefore, stopping due to a stop sign or signal light, the break becomes stiff. It's literally feels like you're stepping on a ROCK. No break pedal movement at all. Accelerator after the stop has no problem, but the service man at our dealer keeps denying our complaint and says that there is no problem.. when this is a serious break problem. The break pedal becomes very stiff; no movement at all. The service man tells me that the break stops since its at the end of the break track, but when it hits the end, the break should well come back up. But it does not; the break remains stiff until I hit the accelerator. I have driven many cars in the past and I have never had this issue before. This is the first time this is happening. And I'm worried that this issue can turn into something serious.

    I am going back to my dealer tomorrow morning to discuss this issue with the service manager. I would like to know if anyone might have this similar issue..?

  • sweatymammasweatymamma Member Posts: 1
    We are having the same problem. Im getting it checked tomorrow. We have 35k on our 2010. I've never had a car where I've had rotor or break problems, so seems strange that we are already addressing it so soon!
  • ewunschelewunschel Member Posts: 1
    My neighbor and I both have 2011 Pilots, and are having the exact same problem. She was just told the same thing as you at 22,000 miles. Mine has only 14,000 miles, but has been showing these symptoms for a couple months now. I feel the rotors are inadequate for the weight of the vehicle, but Honda won't do anything aboout it!
  • verybeegverybeeg Member Posts: 19
    I have the same prob on my 2009 EXL. It started when the car was about 38K miles. I owned several cars beforehand, and had never had brakes go this soon. Unfortunately, Honda can point the finger at us for braking hard too often or when the rotors are too hot. But I owned so many cars beforehand without the same issue, and that so many people have the same prob really leads me to believe it's Honda's issue.

    To replace just the front rotors would cost $450 to $550. Honda deal said they can just resurface the rotors, but I read that's not usually advised.
  • bill2020bill2020 Member Posts: 2
    Is anyone experiencing a soft brake pedal on the 2012 pilot touring model?
  • pnikpnik Member Posts: 1
    My wifes 2010 pilot is having the same problems. We had the rotors resurfaced last year after new tires didn't solve the problem. (crap stock Goodyears Honda uses, that's another issue) but it's happening again. So, I had the tires rotated and balanced, still has the shimmy when breaking. It's in the shop today to have the rotors resurfaced....

    I don't use dealers for repairs unless it's a warranty issue, has anyone had anything covered by the dealers on the rotor issue? The Pilot has 45,000 on it!
  • denver80230denver80230 Member Posts: 6
    Same thing on my wife's 2010 Pilot with 20,000 miles. Having grown up working in auto repair, there's no way to call this problem "normal wear and tear". I'm going into the dealership to see if they'll take responsibility for the poor design and/or materials. In general, I'm very disappointed in the quality of this car and feel like the Toyota Highlander or Buick Enclave would have been a better choice. I'm keeping an open mind that the dealer might surprise and delight me (if I get angry enough, they might just find a service bulletin that got lost under the desk ;)) but that will only restart the clock and I'll be back with the same problem in another 20K miles so I'm guessing that this will be our last Honda.
  • alspilotalspilot Member Posts: 5
    I understand there is a recall on the Pilots for this sudden braking problem.
    Does anyone of you know which model years are involved?
    Is only the 2005's?

    I have a 2006 Pilot with impeccable record. No problems except the AC condenser which was covered under warranty I have had perfect service from my dealer in Brantford Ontario.
    It now has 175000 kms. (118,000 miles)
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    edited February 2013
    The investigation is still ongoing (or reopened) in the US. Just involves 2005 Pilots.

    2005 Honda Pilot Probed by Feds for Unexpected Braking

    "NHTSA said it has received 205 reports of "unexpected vehicle deceleration and/or steering pull resulting from inappropriate electronic brake application with no brake light illumination."

    Sounds like it involves the Vehicle Stability Assist system on ~87,803 Pilots.
  • newar1newar1 Member Posts: 2
    This sounds like the hill holding feature of the brakes.
    Read the manual. The brakes self apply when you are stopped pointing up hill when you take your foot off the brake to place your foot on the throttle so the car does not roll back until you can accelerate.
    The brake pedal does go hard when this is active.
    Not a problem...a feature.
  • newar1newar1 Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2010 Pilot Touring in mountainous country in western Canada.
    The first brake job for warped rotors was partially warranty and I paid for new pads at only about 26,000km/16,000 mi.
    Car shuddered and steering wheel shook when braking, particularly downhill.
    This can be intermittent as the rotors cool and sometimes straighten then warp again.
    these are the standard symptoms of warped rotors.
    the next was about 45,000km/28,000 mi.
    I don't drive like a loon.
    Turns out they only turned the rotors the first time so they replaced them under warranty and now with 78,000km/48000mi they are still solid and smooth so i suspect the initial stock rotors turn into potato chips pretty easily.
    A tire shop now tells me I need a brake job within 10,000k/6,000 mi and have quoted total replacement of all parts for about $1,100-1,200.
    I suspect new pads and turning the rotors will suffice as they are usually good for 1 turning and they are not warped.
    The newer pilots have 18 inch wheels whether for better ventilation, maybe bigger rotors and clearance or just style i dont know.
    The stock rotors were definitely weak as i have not had this happen before except with a craapy caravan fairly loaded on a big hill at barely 21,000km, 1,000 km over the official brake warranty on that one.
    Dodge covered nothing by the way.
    If Honda is paying get the new rotors and all should be well.
  • fartherof4fartherof4 Member Posts: 1
    The shortcoming with my 2010 Pilot is the handling at speeds above 60MPH and when applying the brakes. I replaced tires, balanced and aligned the car and only after acting like the irate customer I was the service writer tells me it was the rotors causing the handling problem. I had a brake job done 8 months earlier and the rotors were resurfaced. The service writer tells me the pads are grate however the rotors are warped. I guess after they change enough parts and you spend a pile of money they will eventually guess the right thing. I refuse to let the local Honda dealer get another penny from me. I will suffer the inconvience of a 60 mile drive to the next dealer.
  • 2011pilot2011pilot Member Posts: 1
    I have a Honda Pilot 2011 Tour with 75k miles. I am on my second set of Honda front rotors and they were just re surfaced 8/10/13. The service writer said" Honda Pilot rotors need to be re surfaced about every 28k miles. My toyota 4 runner went 100,000 before I had to resurface. I expected similar quality from Honda and am dissapointed, but it is fixable. I understand my 1996 4 Runner is more rugged and less fancy, but if I was hauling a boat, the pilot would be probably be inadequate for braking durability. Also gear ratio of the 4 wheel drive is not suitable for rough road climbing as it is underpowered, but is nice on slippery interstate hiways.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaMember Posts: 1,173
    I have the 2006 (named "The Beast") and had my brakes resurfaced at 65k. I noticed today (just shy of 107k) that I'm getting the griding / rubbing from the front end which means I'm due for a full change of pads and rotors. I will keep everyone updated, but I think the one reason we haven't had any issues is due to the off-road package we have on him. The package increase the type of pads / disc to a more all-terrain rated sealed system that can handle being submerged inwater, mud, and sand, etc. I'm not looking to the price to have all this stuff changed out, but it needs done.

  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaMember Posts: 1,173
    Ended up having full frontal replaced for a total of $700 and the Rear resurfaced for a total of $400. Looks like the was a crack in the disc on one of the fronts and it ate through the rotor / pad extra quick. All in all I wasn't happy at the price, but it needed to be done, so there was nothing I could do about it.

  • safetymatterssafetymatters Member Posts: 29

    Has anyone had problems with the recall repair for the 2005 Honda Pilots which came out a year ago?

Sign In or Register to comment.